GREENSBORO, N.C. – Matt Brownstead (Port Matilda, Pa.) won the 50-yard freestyle as the Virginia men’s swimming team moved into fifth on Thursday night at the 2021 ACC Championships.

Virginia earned two podium finishes on second night of competition. The Cavaliers sit fifth overall with a score of 335. Virginia Tech took the lead (454), Louisville and NC State are tied for second (428) and North Carolina is fourth (350).

“Another great night for our men highlighted by an ACC Title in the 50 Free by freshman Matt Brownstead,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “He is now the fastest Freshman in ACC history. Our 500 (free) guys swam great with Jack Walker making the podium for the second year in a row in that event. Our IM men have been clutch for us all year and came through big again today with six-scoring swims, led by Sean Conway. We capped the night with another record setting relay. That was the last relay record that has eluded our staff and the men smashed through it. Looking forward to continuing the fast performances tomorrow.”

UVA also picked up a podium finish in the 500-yard freestyle, with Jack Walker (Charlotte, N.C.) finishing third in a time of 4:13.45 for a season-best time. Jack Wright (Wexford, Pa.) won the B Final with a time of 4:17.87. Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished 23rd in 4:23.55.

The Cavaliers just missed the podium in the 200-yard individual medley but had three swimmers in the A Final. Sean Conway (Round Hill, Va.) placed fourth with a time of 1:44.11, the third-fastest time in school history. Sam Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) clocked in seventh in 1:44.40 and Casey Storch (Great Falls, Va.) was eighth in 1:45.19, both with season-best swims. In the C Final, Noah Nichols (Midlothian, Va.) was 19th (1:46.42), Josh Fong (Moorestown, N.J.) was 23rd (1:47.15) and Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.) was 24th (1:49.41).

Brownstead’s win came in his first individual event at the ACC Championships and he set a school record with a time of 18.88. August Lamb (Charlottesville, Va.) finished 11th in the 50 free with a time of 19.50 in the B Final.

Virginia ended the night with a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Brownstead, Konnar Klinksiek (San Antonio, Texas), Grender and Lamb, respectively, combined for a school-record time of 1:16.64. The group broke the previous record set in 2011.


Virginia competes in the third day of the 2021 ACC Championships on Friday, Feb. 26. Prelims begin at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Both sessions will be streamed on ACCNX.